I think the pegs that hold joints together need to be the strongest wood you can get. That probably means oak.
Power required depends partially on the wood you are drilling. Pine can be worked with a more modest drill than you would need for oak.
I haven't seen instructions, but I did recently see a youtube video with a brace jig and matching mortise locating template. Essentially they had a three sided box (with adjustable length?) whose ends were at 45 degree angles, to put a brace blank in and guide the tenon cutting.
The video shows what they consider an appropriate length for braces; I think you can get a good idea from that.
Thank you Glen. In that case i won't play around with other woods...
Regarding the wind brace, in his book he mentions it also but there's no instructions on how to make one, so I guess I'll have to play around. I imagine there's a minimum length, but is there a rule of thumb when it would be too long?
The youtube video I linked to shows them using the brace miter box, and the braces. They can be a bit longer or shorter, to fit your frame. I don't think exact lengths are important here.
Typical practice in old barn frames around here (and anywhere else I have seen) is that diagonal brace tenons are not rectangular in profile, but sort of tapering. The face by the inside angle of the joint follows straight along the grain, and the face by the outside angle cuts back at 45 degrees, fitting the mortise. The mortise has the upper edge at 45 degrees to the post and the bottom perpendicular to the post (horizontal), and a short flat bottom parallel to the grain of the post. This makes the tenon strong with no angled corners that could break off, and wide enough to take the peg hole safely. Note - the video shows similar tenons in the first few seconds.
In theory it makes sense. What's daunting is not having any experience making jigs and templates, but that's just reason to do it. I messaged the builder from this Pentiddy blog, which shows his build and his advice for building the "Magic Meseg Box" was:
The main thing is to make sure the centres of both the box and the mortice jig match in length. I made my box in two sections that can slide in/out- not necessary really but meant I could adjust the box to the mortice jig.
It is not an easy thing to do well I discovered, but with a bit of practice it gets better.
If I was to build mine again I would make the inner dimensions a little larger so it could take larger diameter logs. You prop/wedge the log in place in the box so the centre of the log sits central in the box...
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